TDP Presents: Throwback Thursday Throw-down



UnknownCome, listen to some great tunes, participate in or cheer on your peers in the lip sync battles and dance contests, have some pizza and milkshakes, and let loose before vacation. The event is a fundraiser for the newly formed BHS Slam Team, which is heading to the Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam and the Stories Live teen story slam. It’s going to be a great time.

Be there! 6:00 – 8:00 at the BHS cafeteria. $5.00 admission.

TDP Contest: Playlist Poem Challenge



In honor of National Poetry Month, we are challenging all Devils to a PLAYLIST POEM BATTLE. To enter, write a poem that is composed primarily of song titles and/or song lyrics. Submit your poem to Mrs. Janovitz  ( by Tuesday, April 28th. A group of English teachers and poetry club members will serve as judges. The top three poems will be published here, and the winning author will receive a $20.00 gift card to Newbury Comics. Get writing, Devils! Remember, POETRY IS METAL!

TDP Recommends: “Talk Shows on Mute” by Incubus

UnknownOur very first TEACHER TUESDAY song, “Talk Shows on Mute” by Incubus, was chosen by English teacher Ms. Mckee and dedicated to her British Literature classes who are currently reading George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984. Incubus singer, Brandon Boyd, was inspired by the novel when writing the song. In an article, Boyd stated that 1984 is a book that “scares you into vigilance,” and that it most definitely “scared [him], but in a good way.” In the world of the novel, the government—headed by an ominous, all-knowing figure: Big Brother—watches its citizens through the use of television screens. The book includes typical dystopian characteristics, such as the use of propaganda to control citizens, the restriction of independent thought, and the manipulation of information; however, this text in particular has had a great impact on readers since its publication in 1949.

1984-posterMusicians from David Bowie to Thom Yorke of Radiohead have written songs influenced by the novel. Many of them indicate the book’s eerie relevance to our own society as the source of that influence. Boyd of Incubus stated that the novel is particularly relevant in our times “because it definitely seems like Big Brother is watching closer than he ever was.” When pondering our society and the way the media, television in particular, manipulates the masses and brings them to either a state of complacency or of urgency, he began to pen this song. He “realized that a time will probably come when television will watch us if we’re watching it.” He goes on to say that “television culture is at an all-time high or low, depending on how you look at it,” and Big Brother is using that culture. Whether it’s through bureaucratic control, corporate control, technological control, or pop-culture control, it can happen, and that fact has scared a number of musicians into reflecting on the possibility through song.

Ms. McKee is a fan of Incubus for their thoughtful, imagery-rich lyrics, and has used their songs in class to introduce and discuss various forms of figurative language. This song is definitely one that prompts serious reflection.

You can see the video for “Talk Shows on Mute” below. This video also incorporates very Orwellian themes. It shows a “world of animals, a world controlled by animals where the humans are the pets.” This idea is one explored in Orwell’s short novel Animal Farm. Incubus bass player, Ben Kenney stated that the video shows just how disgusting our own talk shows are – that they are used as a way “for people to look down at other people that are worse off than them.” The song and video will definitely make you think. Dig it, Devils!

TDP NEWS: “Glory” by Common and John Legend wins Academy Award for Best Song

UnknownLast night, John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn –better known as John Legend and Common–won an Oscar for their emotional song “Glory” from this year’s Academy Award nominated film Selma.  Beating out Tegan and Sarah’s amazing theme song, “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, and Glen Campbell’s career-capping song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the documentary Glen Campbell….I’ll Be Mine, which explores the famed singer’s battle with Alzheimers, “Glory” had some tough competition. Addressing the racial inequality America still faces, “Glory” is a song that brought tears to the eyes of the Oscar audience, including David Oyelowo who played Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in Selma. Common and Legend took the stage to perform the song, accompanied by a chorus slowly marching forward to reflect civil rights protestors, and were awarded the Oscar immediately following. While many believe that Oyelowo and Ava Duvernay, director of Selma, were snubbed by the Academy for not being nominated, and this year’s Academy nominations have been criticized for lacking diversity, “Glory” spoke to the struggle of African Americans and highlighted the consistent racial inequality painfully present even at the Hollywood ceremony.

Watch the awards ceremony performance, and their stirring acceptance speech to understand the immense power of the song and its relevance to contemporary American society.

TDP Review: Godsmack “1000hp”

godsmack_1000-hpGodsmack is an alternative metal band formed in 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts. The band recently released its sixth album, 1000hp. This is their first album after a four year break. Even though the members of the band changed frequently since they formed, Godsmack was able to become popular on the alternative rock and metal scene, winning several Grammy nominations and selling millions of records. While their popularity has  been at a steady decline  as a result of numerous hiatuses and side projects, they have never sounded better.  


Though the band may dodge the comparison, Godsmack’s “sound” is most similar to the music of 90’s alt-rock band Alice in Chains—a group they cite as a major influence. Other influences include classic metal and rock bands Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Rush. Godsmack’s newer albums have deviated from the grunge sound that permeated 90’s alternative rock, but the band continues to incorporate elements of classic heavy metal and strong, aggressive lyrics.


Godsmack has retained their fame primarily due to a flurry of iconic songs. “Keep Away” (1999) was one of the first Godsmack songs to propel the band’s fame. The song’s lyrics addressed the issues of deception and adolescence by implementing aggressive diction coupled with the singer’s empathetic tone. It is considered by many – fans and critics – alike to be one of the greatest rock songs ever released, due to its impressive guitar riffs and solos that sets the band apart from other artists in the alternative rock/metal genre. “Voodoo” (1999) is another one of Godsmack’s popular songs. It employs soft percussion and soothing guitar arrangements and references spirituality. The music video depicts sinister and mysterious scenes, which are reflective of the lead singer, Sully Erna’s, Wiccan faith. “I Stand Alone” (2002) is considered to be the song that brought Godsmack global popularity due to its iconic instrumental and lyrical qualities. The guitar riff begins slowly and eerily , but quickly transitions into a Metallica-style ‘chugging’ — when the guitar sounds like a percussion instrument. By the end of the song, they transition back into the slower, uncanny rift from the beginning of the song. Instead of being somber, the singer delivers the emotional and hard-hitting lyrics with confident and straightforward deliveries, which makes the song effective in conveying its message.


The album 1000hp highlights components of the songs which make Godsmack the band it is, but it also deepens the scope of the band’s music with the addition of other elements. The title track, “1000hp” has the booming guitar riffs characteristic of Godsmack, but it also includes narrative lyrics instead of abstract ones. It tells the story of the formation of the band, but its booming chorus is reminiscent of tracks from the band’s influences, such as Nirvana. Both “1000hp” and songs such as “FML” contain punk elements in the choruses and in the guitar riffs, which is new. Some of the songs, like “Generation Day” are more unique, and, to quote Erna, are “artsy.” Others are more straightforward, like “Locked and Loaded.” While the album introduces new elements and styles to the band’s sound, it still retains the raw and aggressive qualities that made Godsmack the well-known band it is today. I would recommend this to someone who likes alternative and metal styles, but does not mind some deviation from the traditional metal experience.


I would rate 1000hp 4 out of 5 stars. The album contains many of the elements that make Godsmack Godsmack, but it does venture from their typical style into pop-punk and glam-metal/rock sounds. While the music itself was not bad, the album did not feel cohesive.

TDP Review: Emmure’s Eternal Enemies Tour


Emmure and The Acacia Strain have had a feud that has lasted a few years now. Not too long ago, the hatred between the bands’ frontmen, Frankie Palmeri (Emmure) and Vince Bennett (The Acacia Strain) resulted in a physical fight between the two. After their scuffle, they decided to put their differences behind them and stop being childish. Now, in 2014, they are shocking everyone by announcing the Eternal Enemies  tour together (named so for Emmure’s new album). I attended the kickoff show of the tour at the Worcester Palladium and was very pleased with the overall experience. The venue opened the doors to the side stage at 4:00 p.m. to let local bands play, but I’ll skip to the popular bands who are doing every show of the tour.

To start off the permanent lineup of the tour, rap-metal band Sylar from Queens, New York hit the stage and did an excellent job at opening the night with high energy and catchy breakdowns, rapping, screaming, and turntable scratching. The lead singer had an energy to him that really made it obvious he cares about what he does. The backup clean vocalist, however, did not really shine too well with his screechy, untrained vocals. After Sylar, metalcore/hardcore band Kublai Khan hit the stage with a high string energy that made the crowd explode with great feedback. People were jumping around, moshing, and crowdsurfing. For a somewhat uninteresting band with not much variety in their sound, they really know how to get a crowd to go wild. After Kublai Khan, Fit for a King took the stage with a very solid performance. Not being familiar with them, I didn’t really engage in their set as I did with the other bands, but needless to say, they still put on a great show.

Finally, it was time for the first headliner, The Acacia Strain, to start. As we waited, the people around me all told me to watch my back, as people “lose their minds” to The Acacia Strain, and being their home show (they’re Massachusetts natives), people were going to “go nuts” even more. The moment the band started started, a mosh pit the size of the entire floor broke out, and didn’t stop until they walked off stage. Having a love for moshing, I always participate in the pit, but for the first time ever, the pit was far too violent to join. While The Acacia Strain blessed the audience with their low-tuned, breakdown-filled, brutal music, I watched as people left the pit covered in blood, sweat, and black eyes. Frontman Vince Bennett’s growled vocals shook the room the entire set with its low pitch, hatefully wonderful sound, while the guitarists, bassist, and drummer completed the absolutely brutal ensemble.

After The Acacia Strain, it was time for the main headliner, Emmure to start. The moment they entered the stage with their controversial new track, which is too offensive to name in this review, the room resonated with their breakdowns, screams, and offensive lyrics. Their blend of deathcore with nu-metal and hip hop influence made it a truly fun set. Although they receive a lot of negativity for their offensive lyrics and lack of complexity in their music, they really know how to set an audience off and receive high energy feedback from a crowd. Their set covered classics from their early albums, all the way to songs off their newest release, Eternal Enemies. The vast collection of songs they played caused an energy that lasted from beginning to end. The tired, sore, and ear-ringing, hour long drive home on the mass pike was definitely worth the great night of moshing, crowdsurfing, and going wild.

TDP Spotlight Artist: Eric Leva

The Devils’ Playlist is happy to initiate our new monthly feature, TDP Spotlight Artist, with the work of Eric Leva. Once a month, we will feature an artist or band who we believe deserves the spotlight for incredible sound, music innovation, outstanding lyrical content, or just overall coolness. Each month we will dedicate a page to our featured artist to discuss their background in music and share their work. We are very excited to introduce this new feature with Eric’s music.

tumblr_static_6mzdh0ucdick4gw4ccg48w4c4Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Eric Leva says that he draws inspiration from open conversations he has over coffee with friends. The Burlington native, who currently lives and performs in New York City, uses the personal connections in his own life in order to better relate to a larger listening audience. Currently our spotlight artist is writing new music and assisting others in their musical endeavors. Members of the marching band are honored to have him return to BHS as the Assistant Marching Band Director. Eric also returns to Burlington as the Music Director for the Burlington Educational Summer Theatre, teaching kids the values and fundamentals of dancing, acting, and singing.

From childhood, Leva has been working on his artistry, teaching himself piano at seven; exploring art, music, and poetry at Burlington High; and then going on to study classical piano at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. And while Eric’s music is rooted in classical, his work has crossed over into different genres, such as indie pop, indie rock, and electro. He believes keeping a broad musical palette positively influences his music and is healthy for musicians.

Leva really found himself exploring his talents in high school. He relates, “the music department at BHS offers a lot of creative variety. In just one hallway, I was able to pursue marching band, concert band, jazz band, music theory, select singers, musicals, spring sing, and vocal labs.” A passion for music was furthered by the friends he made in the music department, as well as the subject depth his teachers explored in class. Eric credits the English Department at BHS with providing him creative license to express himself. He specifically cites Poetry Out Loud and the BHS Poetry Club as two big influences. “I was not a good poet,” he recalls, “but I was surrounded by likeminded people who were all interested in self-expression through written and spoken word.” Leva also concludes that his time at school gave him, “a running start in drawing the connection between words and music.” After graduating from BHS, he continued his musical career at Berklee College of Music. It was there that he truly fell in love wit songwriting. During his third semester at Berklee, Eric declared a major in songwriting.

Leva’s advice to aspiring artists is to be patient. He believes artists should put everything they have into their work and learn absolutely everything about it. Additionally, Leva hopes to connect with people on an intimate level and leave an impact on his listeners.

Listen to Eric’s single, “None of The Above” here on Soundcloud!

Listen to Eric’s new single, “Renovation” here on Soundcloud!

Listen to Eric’s single, “I Should Know” here on Soundcloud!

Listen to more of Eric’s music here:

Follow Eric on Twitter! : @ericleva

Follow Eric’s Blog:

Visit him online at:

    Photo by Shervin Lainez. Visit him at


Happy Halloween, Devils!

Looking for some songs to help you prepare to trick-or-treat? Here’s a mix of eerie, scary, and fun tunes – from classic to contemporary- designed to get you in the Halloween spirit.


If you’re more of a visual Halloween celebrant, check out these spooky videos.

“My Body’s a Zombie for You” by Dead Man’s Bones (Ryan Gosling’s Band)

“Wolf Like Me” by TV on the Radio

“Do They Know it’s Halloween?” 

“Shia LaBeouf Live” by Rob Canton

TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Ms. Stuart

Ms. Stuart teaches English at BHS. She is described by her students as “laid-back,” “nice,” “understanding,” and “fun.” Here is what she has to say about what she was listening to at age sixteen. 
UnknownI turned 16 in March of 2002. The Boy Band era had just died down and I had worn out my CD player listening to N’Sync, The Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees (who, in my opinion, had the best harmony of all of them). I still get excited when I hear “I Want it That Way” or “This I Promise You.” I loved all of that music from the nineties – Spice Girls, Boy Bands, etc. I listened to the top 40 hits since I finally had a car and could listen to the radio, but my parents listened to a lot of music at home, so I really had an eclectic mix that I loved. I was lucky enough to get my license and an OLD Jeep Wrangler. I thought it was so awesome to take the top down and cruise around with my friends singing at the tops of our lungs. Here is what you may have heard coming from the jeep!
1. A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton
2. Wannabe by the Spice Girls
3. No Such Thing by John Mayer
4. I Want it That Way by The Backstreet Boys
5. Take it Easy by The Eagles
6. Lose Yourself by Eminem
7. Caramel by City High featuring Eve
8. Hot in Here by Nelly
9. All You Wanted by Michelle Branch
10. You’re My Home by Billy Joel
11. You’re the Inspiration by Chicago
12. Hero by Enrique Iglesias
13. I Wanna Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
14. U Got it Bad by Usher
15. Wherever You Will Go by The Calling
16. Hold On by Wilson Phillips

TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Mrs. Janovitz

Mrs. Janovitz teaches 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English at BHS, and is the advisor for The Devils’ Playlist. This is what she has to say about what she was listening to at sixteen:

71uaBiA5tWL._SL1300_I have always had a strong affection for music. So many songs are inextricably tied to my memories of childhood. Harry Chapin songs make me think about sitting in my dad’s Buick during my brother’s Little League games. Kim Carnes reminds me of rolling down the windows in my mom’s station wagon. Hearing Ozzy Osbourne immediately brings me back to the beach house we used to visit each summer, sitting at the top of the basement stairs in an effort to hear whatever the older kids were talking about. Pink Floyd, Genesis, Mötley Crüe, and ZZ Top transport me to Friday nights at Roller Kingdom, trying desperately to master the ‘shoot the duck’ technique without looking ridiculous (turns out, it’s impossible). Listening to Blondie evokes memories of snow days spent sitting in front of MTV waiting for VJ Martha Quinn to introduce my favorites. I am lucky to have recognized early on the warmth and energy and inspiration and joy that music has to offer, but I didn’t full-force fall in love with music until the eighth grade.
cure1989-2That year, the girl who sat behind me in homeroom gave me my very first mix tape, and listening to it somehow changed everything. It was my introduction to punk, alternative, post modern, glam rock – really anything not mainstream. Hearing bands like The Cure and The Dead Milkmen for the first time somehow made my life seem more important, more intense, more mine. Before that point, I had been listening to (and enjoying) pop radio, but that music didn’t belong to me. I still stand by some of my early favorite artists: George Michael, Madonna, Belinda Carlisle, to name a few. I did not, however, feel the same connection to that music that I did with what I found on the mix. In those songs I discovered the strength that comes with rebellion, the ache that comes with a broken heart, the excitement that comes with new love, and the joy that comes with revelation. I discovered familiarity and the projected possible all at once.

When I turned sixteen, in 1990, my parents gave me a CD player and let me hang up posters in my bedroom. I spent hours in there listening to Moods for Moderns on WFNX, watching 120 Minutes on MTV, reading Sassy magazine for their ‘Cute Band Alert’ section, and making mix tapes of my own. Here is what I was listening to:


1. “Love Buzz” by Nirvana: At that age, I was on the ‘scooping crew’ at Skip’s Ice Cream. Lucky for me, some of the ice cream stand’s past employees would pick up shifts during spring break, and they brought with them the sounds of college radio. My boss used to let us listen to whatever we wanted to on the nights he wasn’t there, and she who had seniority controlled the cassette player. I first heard this one courtesy of the ‘scooper’ who trained me. I will be forever grateful.

621601850_ba7547df392. “Kool Thing” by Sonic Youth: I liked Sonic Youth’s loud, angry distortion. I loved that a woman was singing and playing loud, angry distortion. She was everything I was not. Seeing her on stage was empowering for me. At sixteen, I pretty much thought Kim Gordon was the coolest thing around. I kind of still do.

3.  “Age of Consent” by New Order: I discovered this song through classroom desk graffiti. Someone from a different period, who sat in the same seat as me in Chemistry, wrote a section of the lyrics on our shared desk. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed it because the next day a different student reciprocated by sharing lyrics from another song. This exchange continued throughout the year. Those lyrics were just about the only reading I completed in Chemistry class that I entirely understood.

4. “Pictures of Matchstick Men” by Camper Van Beethoven: This is a Status Quo cover, but I didn’t know that at the time. I liked the song’s mix of psychedelic, Americana, and alternative sounds, which seemed really fresh to me. I definitely used my hairbrush as a microphone while singing along to this one.

tumblr_mb9txqdCKC1qzxlbn5. “Ask” by The Smiths: I quoted this song in my yearbook caption. Next to my picture — along with a list of random initials, cryptic references, and expressions of gratitude — reads the opening to a Smiths line that sums up a lot of my high school life: “Shyness is nice…”

6. “From Under the Covers” by The Beautiful South: I was a huge fan of The Housemartins, a band that was featured on that first mix tape. Their lead vocalist, Paul Heaton, sings for The Beautiful South. The Housemartins were my introduction to Marxist politics and British dialect. Listening to them prompted me to join the British Exchange program. This song was one of my exchange student’s favorites.

images7. “Peek-a-Boo” by Siouxsie and the Banshees: I saw Siouxsie Sioux on MTV’s 120 Minutes and immediately purchased black eyeliner (that I was too timid to wear out of the house – or even in the house, really). This is the song I listened to after I got my license, the very first time I drove with nobody else in the car. I was petrified and felt super tough at the same time.

8. “The Hardest Walk” by The Jesus and Mary Chain: I spent a lot of time watching John Hughes movies as a teenager. This song is from Some Kind of Wonderful, which, like many John Hughes films, focuses on class and cliques. I loved the character Watts in this movie. She wore red fringe gloves and played the drums. This song, about the end of a relationship, is all distortion and fuzz. I couldn’t get enough of it.

images9. “The Happening” by The Pixies: The Pixies battled The Smiths for the highest place in my heart while I was in high School. Although The Smiths sang the song that my high school boyfriend and I had claimed as our song, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” (which was the height of romance at the time, but now seems exceptionally morbid), The Pixies had a sort of American rebel sound that I adored. Plus, this ‘loud-quiet-loud’ band hails from Boston and, at the time, had Kim Deal singing back-up vocals and playing bass. The Pixies eventually ousted The Smiths as the band of preeminence in my heart, and became my favorite.

10. “Beyond Belief” by Elvis Costello: Elvis Costello’s lyrics seemed like literature to me. There was always something smart about them, something to learn in them, and something to uncover. I used to play this one on the way to school when I could finally drive myself. Something about it helped me prepare for whatever the amazing Mrs. Queenan in Latin class and the protagonist of our Latin text, Caecilius, had planned for the day. Caecilius est musicam ausculat. (Is that right?)

thereplacementstommyair11. “Left of the Dial” by The Replacements: I discovered The Replacements, considered some of the forefathers of early American alternative and indie rock, through their 1990 album All Shook Down. WFNX featured some of the tracks on this album; “Merry Go Round” was in heavy rotation for a while, but I preferred “Sadly Beautiful.” It led me to seek out their earlier releases, which are definitely superior. The Replacements (The Mats) were the first band I actually researched. Because I learned that they were influenced by The Clash, The Ramones, and Big Star  I got into those bands as well. “Left of the Dial,” from the album Tim, was one of my early Replacements favorites.

Throwing-Muses-Hunkpapa-49051712. “Not Too Soon” by The Throwing Muses: I discovered the Throwing Muses early in my senior year (just before I turned 17). When I began the college search and exploring schools in Rhode Island, I started looking into local RI bands, shows in Providence, and college radio. On our way home from my tour of Providence College, I listened to their radio station (WDOM), and the DJ played this song. I listened to it a lot after that.  The women in this band are AMAZING! I recently got to meet Tanya Donelly, a guitarist and vocalist in The Throwing Muses who went on to be part of The Breeders and Belly (two of my favorite bands in college). I was tongue-tied and giddy when I met her.

janes-addiction13. “Ocean Size” by Jane’s Addiction: When my sister was a senior and I had just turned sixteen, she drove my brother and me around quite a bit. She was kind enough to give us radio control on occasion. My brother, who started his love of music with rap and early hip-hop, made the switch from Public Enemy and Slick Rick to Sam Black Church and Only Living Witness at about this time. We had Jane’s Addiction in common so it was on my sister’s radio a lot. The booming, screaming sounds in “Ocean Size” somehow made us both happy. It was a pretty good psych-up song before school. Now, when I’m preparing for a particularly challenging lesson and need a psych-up song, I listen to my brother’s old school rap (radio edits only).

14. “Day Ditty” by Shudder to Think: This one I owe entirely to my brother. He shared the band and the song with me, and it quickly made the rounds on my mix tapes. I was always looking for short songs to fill the tiny space at the end of cassettes. Leaving two minutes of dead air at the end of side one was just cruel.

15. “I Won” by The Sundays: I played this song on repeat the summer before my senior year. The Sundays were great for rainy day. I sometimes still break out Reading, Writing & Arithmetic when the sky turns gray.

Unknown16. “All I Ever Wanted” by Lenny Kravitz: I discovered Lenny Kravitz through my ridiculously immature celebrity crush on his once wife Lisa Bonet. Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show and A Different World, was my earliest fashion icon. Once I learned that she was married to a musician, I bought his albums. Although I liked Lenny Kravitz’s debut release, Let Love Rule, his second album, Mama Said, was all about his love for Bonet and their daughter, and his regret for whatever happened in their relationship. I liked the idea of creating an album as a love letter and as an apology of sorts. His fashion was pretty amazing as well – perfect casting as Cinna. This one was another early senior year favorite.

Many years beyond sixteen, music continues to be a very important part of my life. I am just as passionate about it now as I was then; although, now I don’t shut the door of my room and blare The Smiths when I’m upset about something or spend any time singing into my hairbrushes. Now I share music with my daughter, and have the great fortune to see her face the first time she hears what will become her favorite songs. Now I roll down my windows and turn up (to a responsible volume) Neko Case, Courtney Barnett, Joni Mitchell, and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Now, when I hear music I can still find the familiar and the projected possible all at once, and it is lovely.